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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

Parliament adjourned over N-deal again

Opposition and Left MPs allege that PM Manmohan Singh had misled the house on the India-US nuclear agreement.

delhi Updated: Aug 16, 2007 12:35 IST


Opposition and Left MPs forced the adjournment of both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on Thursday as they disrupted proceedings, alleging that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had misled the house on the India-US nuclear agreement.

While the Lok Sabha was adjourned twice - first for half an hour at 11 am and later till 2 pm - due to disruptions by members of the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) and the Left, Rajya Sabha was adjourned for an hour.

As the Lok Sabha met, MPs of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Left were on their feet shouting that the prime minister had misled parliament on the civil nuclear deal with Washington and insisted that he give an explanation to the nation.

The MPs were referring to US State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack's statement Wednesday that the proposed nuclear deal with India would be terminated if New Delhi decides to test a nuclear device.

Manmohan Singh has been stressing that India's sovereignty would be maintained on the issue of conducting nuclear tests.

Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, while adjourning the house, expressed his unhappiness over the acrimonious scenes and said: "What an image you are giving to the have no sense of responsibility. I am ashamed of you."

The speaker had earlier introduced a visiting German delegation seated in the diplomat's gallery to the house.

When the house met again, MPs continued to disrupt the house over the nuclear deal, ignoring the speaker's repeated pleas to take up the matter at 12 noon. Chatterjee said the members were not keen to run the house and adjourned it till 2 pm.

Meanwhile, BJP members were also on their feet, seeking permission to raise the issue of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrochi's release in Argentina on Wednesday.

CBI continues to allege that Quattrocchi took $7 million in bribes as a middleman in the $1.2 billion purchase of artillery from Swedish arms maker Bofors AB for the Indian Army. However, he maintains that the Indian authorities have wrongly framed him.

Chaotic scenes were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha too with MPs running towards the podium, raising slogans against the prime minister. The upper house was adjourned till 12 noon.

First Published: Aug 16, 2007 12:31 IST